The finish line is in sight - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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The finish line is in sight

I am almost complete with my first build. Put the first coat of oil on the stock yesterday, that will be the main focus the rest of this week.

Now while I'm waiting between coats I'll turn to the metal. I am still on the fence as to what finish to put on it. I'm not quite of the school of thought that I want a perfect period looking firearm, using a browning solution. After all, it's brand new made to an old design. That really makes me lean towards one of two ideas, putting a light layer of cold blue (like Ox-pho) or just leaving everything bare and see where nature takes me.

Cold blue I have no concerns about, but natural rusting is foreign to me. Hey, after all we've been raised all our lives to not let it happen. My issue with it is, is there anything I should do different so that it just gets a nice patina and not pit or worse.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 02:30 PM
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I used super blue on all the metal parts of my smooth bore, save the barrel and lock, which I browned. I knew this gun would be used for turkey hunting at some point and I didn't want the metal furniture catching any light or glare, etc. The super blue turns the metal almost black, and really looks nice IMO.

I've seen some guns that were left to naturally age, and they don't look good to me, as they're always uneven in patina, etc. but that is just my point of view.

Last edited by Blue Bird; 05-16-2017 at 07:04 PM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 02:43 PM
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pics???
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Since it's still in pieces...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF1161.jpg (559.6 KB, 13 views)

Remember, shoot straight and shoot often.
Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 06:42 PM
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How's cold blue withstand use?? I can't imagine it being real durable...but maybe I'm wrong.


I essentially rust blued my last. Used Mark Lees Express blue. Basically heat the part to the point it'll evaporate a liquid and apply it and then boil the part and repeat till desired finish. I found it to be very durable.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2017, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mauser06 View Post
How's cold blue withstand use?? I can't imagine it being real durable...but maybe I'm wrong.


I'm just over a year in since I finished my smooth bore. So far the blue has held up well.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, here is where I came up with all this. In my research and reading the finishes they used back when were not durable. Hence the browning on period guns. I have looked at a number of contemporary guns that were browned and I'm not a big fan. Can't say why, just not my cup of pickles. Now the older guns that I have seen, most at the Lewisburg show, I like how they look after a century or two of use. So I have come to this decision:


I will never be able to produce a rifle that will have a period correct finish. After all we are making contemporary reproductions of period pieces. I would rather start off with something that is similar to what would have "walked out the door" a couple centuries ago than to make something that everyone expects, but I don't care for. That is what brought me to the cold blue. When not applied properly it is not very durable, I know I've done it. But it does still provide some nice darkening to the metal. At that point I'll let it go it's natural course and get the patina it would get through usage. The key to what I'm looking at is I don't want anything like what we get today. I'm not looking to go really dark, just enough... It's hard to explain.


My only question mark was to leave it bare metal. I can see that being uneven and potentially pitting or going too far. I doubt I'm going to go this route, but who knows. I am rather disappointed in this boat paddle right now due to some issues I created, and failed to notice before beginning.


Just like everything I do I've got to be special. Maybe not special good, but just special.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 04:36 PM
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TRAPJAW, do you have a copy of Recreating The American Longrifle? it shows and talks about "charcoal bluing" which is something I would like to try at some point. it may be just what you are looking for!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 05:23 PM
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I'm sure what would have "walked out the door" of Mr. Colonial Gunsmith's shop was probably a gun with no finish at all on the metal. It would have been allowed to age and patina in its own way from simple usage. And over many many decades the gun would have ended up looking like the beauties we see in magazines and online, etc. I don't think most people are willing to wait decades to get that well loved look, hence the browning and bluing processes we enjoy today. I guess its all up to the individual to decide what he or she wants to get out of the build. For me, I like a browned barrel, lock and trigger. After that the rest of the furniture can be either shiny brass such as what is on my Lancaster rifle, or dark blue/black furniture like that on my smooth bore. I don't worry about the durability of the bluing. If it comes off, I will simply reapply it. Since I am the one who applied it initially, I know what to do in order to get the color back to the way I like. Like I mentioned, I'm a year almost in with the blued parts on my smooth bore and its holding up so far. So even if I have to touch up the blue every couple years. Its no big deal really.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Charcoal is on the radar, just not now. I would like to try it in the future, only with a cheap barrel in case I mess it up... Like I do so many things.


I tested the Oxpho last night on a spot under the barrel. Didn't like the way it looked. I remember it taking much more to get a dark color. This stuff turned jet black as soon as it hit the metal. My recollection was it took a coat or two to get the color I got last night. Maybe they kicked up the concentration over the years.


Looks like I'll be leaving the metal plain and see where nature takes me.

Remember, shoot straight and shoot often.
Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun.
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